Flying to Australia: Time Travel

December 11, 2011

Flying to Australia has provided us with two very very very very long days, with lots of waiting around. We managed on the whole to entertain ourselves and get through it, but it is not something you would want to do every week. I am glad we are taking our time getting back home and not doing that in reverse anytime soon.

From Hotel to Yotel

The Holiday Inn Express Hotel at Crawley, was absolutely what we expected for a chain, but they deserve brownie points for giving us a complimentary late checkout (2pm) so that our wait for the evening flight was not too drawn out, and the staff were pleasant, as was breakfast.

This late checkout meant that by the time we had caught the number 20 bus back to the airport that we only had four and a half hours to kill till we could access the premium lounge. We had a cup of coffee and as we sat there feeling uncomfortable we noticed an advert for the Yotel opposite.

I had vaguely heard of these before, so John has a quick look and found out that for the not too extravagant sum of £25 we can bag a basic pod for four hours. We decided very quickly that this in fact beat sitting around buying expensive coffee in the airport for the next four hours.  Within 10 minutes we were safely ensconced in our new pod.

Brilliant, John had a snooze (no doubt due to the Zen mood lighting), I enjoyed fast wifi and the telly, we had a shower and generally were relaxed and fresh ready for our pre-flight drinkies in the lounge.

Flying to Australia – Flight One

Despite the fact that I had spent most of the day fretting that the first flight on our adventure would be cancelled after having seen the inbound flight cancelled on flightscanner ( damn you Internet and your pesky information overload). The check-in and flight were perfectly on time and left from the gate more or less bang on schedule.

Some 12 hours later we arrive in Kuala Lumpur very tired, but fed, watered and generally taken care of rather well by Air Asia crew,  and were about as comfortable as we could be on a journey of this length. Some spectacular views on the journey as we passed over the Middle East.

The stopover at KLIA allowed us to enjoy a cup of proper coffee and numerous fags to charge the batteries before the final leg on what was already feeling like a flying to Australia endurance test.

I however ran into a little bit of trouble passing through passport control.  The guard had decided that as my passport centre page had a single stitch that had come loose from the binding, that I was an international criminal flying to Australia on dodgy business and I warranted further interrogation.

I was too tired to care at this point though and after further inspections of my passport with his jewellers eyepiece he deigned to let me through, John thought this was all highly amusing.

Second leg of the flight was mostly spent eating and then sleeping as our forced insomnia on the first leg paid off allowing us both to bag about four hours sleep in our first attempt to reset our bodies to Australian time.

So for the bargain price of £421 each we have been transported half way around the world and all this done with a smile, from both us and the crew. I leave you with a photo of my Australian entry card and the ironic question they feel the need to ask, tickled me anyway, but then again I was overtired by then.

Five Second Film Review

Bridesmaids – fine female comedy with some surprise British actors popping up (four ticks)

Fast Five – the cars out acted the humans and the final sequence was just preposterous (2.5 ticks)

Things I Learned on this Journey

My time spent buying battery boosters and multi usb charging plugs is already paying dividends, all gadgets arrived in Melbourne with at least some charge left in them despite heavy use trying to while away the hours in the past 30+ hours of travel.

Never again will I travel in a pair of Jeans, they are uncomfortable, dig into you while you try and get comfortable in the seat and you sweat a great deal in them even on the short walk across the tarmac at KLIA in 33 degree heat and near 100% humidity. I’m off to bed.

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